July GoList: The Best Things To Do with Westchester Kids

Top Family-Friendly Things to Do with Westchester Kids in July 2018

Summer is in full swing, and so are the summer events for families in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! Our July GoList features all the best events happening this month, including the colorful Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival and a high-end Jazz Festival developed in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The month kicks off with a slew of 4th of July fireworks, as well as the multifaceted (and largely FREE) Independence Day Fair. Other top picks for July include outdoor concerts and movie screenings, various summer festivals, and the return of the Orange County Fair. If you’re looking for the annual pyrotechnic show A Night on Fire, note that this production will not be offered in 2018; the annual New York Air Show has been moved to September.

Now get your calendars ready and read on for our top picks for July. But don’t stop there: There’s plenty more where that came from in our Event Calendar, and our weekly newsletters deliver all the latest news and events right to your inbox!

Independence Day Fair – Katonah 
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Head to the home of a founding father for a full day of fun and festivity to celebrate our nation's independence. Activities include colonial-era games, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, discovery stations, crafts, a petting zoo, a stilt walker, hayrides, pony rides, and more. FREE (some activities have a fee)

In addition to 100 balloon launches, the fun includes helicopter rides, hayrides, games, and kids' activities. Photo courtesy of the festival

Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival – Rhinebeck
Friday, July 6 – Sunday, July 8, 2018
As we mentioned in our post about the annual Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, this event is truly a sight to behold. Hot-air balloons take to the sky in synchronized launches, with tons of kid-friendly activities in between.  

Arts in the Amphitheater: Music Nights – Yonkers
Every Friday, July 6–27, 2018
Enjoy FREE musical performances every Friday in July, featuring a broad sampling of styles, including Slavic, Afro-Peruvian, and more.  

Evening Pool Party & Movie – New Rochelle, Yonkers, White Plains
Wednesdays, July 11, 18, 25, and August 1 & 8, 2018
Spend Wednesday evenings this month enjoying an after-hours movie night and pool party at several Westchester pool complexes. Cool off with a dip in the pool before camping out to watch a movie. All films are recent releases.

The traditional Orange County Fair brings rides, games, and food to Middletown. Photo courtesy of the fair

Orange County Fair – Middletown
Thursday, July 12 –Sunday, July 16; and Thursday, July 20 – Saturday, July 21, 2018
This annual fair made its debut in 1840! In addition to traditional fair features like rides, games, and food, this fair also boasts stunt performances, eclectic musical performances, stock-car racing, and demolition derbies.

Pleasantville Music Festival – Pleasantville 
Saturday, July 14, 2018
In addition to nine hours of live music (including by the throwback Psychedelic Furs), this family-friendly festival at Parkway Field features food, vendors, and kids’ activities.

Food and Farm Day – Cold Spring
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Get in touch with your inner farmer at this FREE day of farm fun, designed to help visitors of all ages celebrate local agriculture. In addition to meeting farmers, families can enjoy storytelling, an egg toss, butter-making, tours, hayrides, assorted demos, and more. Consult our guide for other things to do in Cold Spring.

Ease your way into hard-core camping with a night of comfortable camping at the Overnight Family Campout. Photo courtesy of the event

Overnight Family Campout – Scarsdale
Saturday, July 14 – Sunday, July 15, 2018
Pitch a tent and unroll your sleeping bags in this oh-so-comfortable approach to roughing it. A BBQ dinner will be provided (complete with s’mores, of course), and a naturalist will lead a moonlight tour around the grounds before everyone snoozes under the stars.

Arts in the Amphitheater: Dance and Magic Nights – Yonkers
Saturdays, July 14, 21, and August 4, 2018
Magic and mind-reading, dance fusion, and hip-hop and break-dancing are three different shows scheduled in the outdoor amphitheater this month and into early August—all FREE.

Starwalk Walkway at Night – Poughkeepsie
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Offered once monthly through September, this new astronomy program at Walkway Over the Hudson also offers nighttime photography tips, science trivia, sky models, sky art, music, food, and, of course, the chance to view the night sky via telescope. FREE

Children of all ages can explore music from around the world at Dancing at Dusk at Caramoor. Photo by Gabe Palacio

Dancing at Dusk – Katonah
Wednesdays, July 18 and 25, 2018
A multicultural panoply of dance performances and instruction are on tap for select Wednesdays in July, with international flavors from China and Rio de Janeiro. Some of the instruments used are just as exotic—like the dizi/xiao and the pipa.

The Hudson Valley Chalk Festival supports a 500-year-old tradition of street art. Photo courtesy of the festival

Hudson Valley Chalk Festival – New Paltz
Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 22, 2018
If sidewalk chalk conjures images of hopscotch boards and rainbows, take a gander at the professionally drawn chalk work at this three-day festival (and pray for no rain). There will also be other fun in the form of corn hole, face painting, drawing on a car, and more—and all of it is FREE.

The Dutchess Dragon Boat Race and Festival supports Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County. Photo courtesy of the festival

Dutchess Dragon Boat Race & Festival – Poughkeepsie
Saturday, July 21, 2018
While the two races (teams of 16 paddlers racing 40-foot wooden boats) are indeed a highlight, there’s lots more to this festival. Other Chinese-themed offers include performances, demos, and workshops, which have in the past included Chinese rush painting, puppetry, and calligraphy. Admission is FREE.

Kids can get their groove on with special jazz concerts and activities for kids. Photo by Gabe Palacio

Jazz Festival – Katonah
Saturday, July 21, 2018
This annual musical extravaganza is developed in partnership between Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and Jazz at Lincoln Center. This high-caliber, day-to-evening performance boasts a bucolic setting and kids' activities. Read our review. Bring a picnic!

Putnam County Fair – Carmel
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29, 2018
Good old-fashioned fun is to be had at this three-day county fair, with pet shows, BBQ, pony rides, touch-a-truck, and lots more. Admission and parking are FREE.

Check our Event Calendar for even more happening this month and beyond in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!